What to do

The burn should be cleaned gently with soap and water. Blisters should not be broken. Butter, shortening, or salve should never be applied to the burn since it prevents heat from escaping and drives the burning process deeper into the skin. If the skin of the burned area is unbroken, the burn should be left exposed to the air to promote healing. If the skin is broken, the burned area should be...
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Signs of a Burn

Signs of a burn are localized redness, swelling, and pain. A severe burn will also blister. The skin may also peel, appear white or charred, and feel numb. A burn may trigger a headache and fever. Extensive burns may induce shock, the symptoms of which are faintness, weakness, rapid pulse and breathing, pale and clammy skin, and bluish lips and fingernails. First- or second-degree burns (those...
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About Burns

Burns are injuries to tissues caused by heat, friction, electricity, radiation, or chemicals. They may be caused by even a brief encounter with heat greater than 120°F (49°C). The source of this heat may be the sun (causing a sunburn), hot liquids, steam, fire, electricity, friction (causing rug burns and rope burns), and chemicals (causing a caustic burn upon contact). Burns are characterized...
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The First 48

The first 48 hours after a burn injury has occurred are the most critical. The challenge for healthcare professionals is to get patients through the first stages of recovery by preventing fluid loss, and preventing and/or controlling infection. Infections are a serious threat to burn patients. In the first 48 hours patients will lose fluids from the vessels, sodium chloride and protein flow into...
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Cultured Skin

For those unfamiliar with the term “cultured skin,” it’s a very small sample of a patient’s unburned skin, which is expanded into large sheets of cultured skin in the research lab. These sheets are then placed over the patient’s burn wounds to allow for more natural and complete healing and less scarring. However, the new skin can be a very different shade of color than the patient’s healthy...
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